Fresno County Nurses Vote to Authorize Strike, Cite ‘Lack of Progress’ in Contract Negotiations
Nurses employed by Fresno County voted yesterday to authorize a strike "because of a lack of progress" in contract negotiations with the county, the Fresno Bee reports. The negotiating team for the nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association, will decide today when to call a strike -- the nurses must provide 10 days notice before a strike -- but not make a decision until they meet with county representatives. The 200 nurses represented by the union said that "they're not paid enough compared with the private sector" and have expressed concerns about mandatory overtime. The union has asked for a "one-time" 10% raise and 4% raises over the next two years (Davis, Fresno Bee, 1/18). Jose Valdez, a registered nurse on the negotiating team, said, "A lot of nurses who just started working in Fresno County are watching to see what's going to happen. If we don't get an honest, reasonable pay [increase], they're probably going to go jump into the private sector -- they're very militant and they're very angry." Although the county has not commented on the negotiations, Jim Blocker, the county's top negotiator on the contract, said that negotiations have reached a "very crucial stage right now" (Davis, Fresno Bee, 1/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.